Beware of the telephone fraudsters

JPCT 100614 S14241969x Telephone interview -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141006-113802001
JPCT 100614 S14241969x Telephone interview -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141006-113802001

A Seaford resident this week escaped becoming the victim of telephone fraudsters.

Police are now reminding local people to beware of phone callers who pretend to be police officers or bank staff.

The warning comes after the Seaford resident – together with two in Lewes and one in Ringmer – reported that on Tuesday morning they had received such calls asking for bank details.

But all heeded police advice and did not lose any money.

The exact approach used by the would-be fraudsters varies from time to time but in these four cases the caller purported to be a Metropolitan Police officer who said he had arrested two people who were in possession of the resident’s credit card and they should ring their bank right away to report this.

Police know that the fraudsters try to get to victim to call back straight away, not realising that the line is in fact still open and they would be giving away their account details.

Detective Sergeant Ross Bartlett said, “Fortunately today the residents became suspicious of the caller and did not lose any money.

“It is good news that so many people are already aware of this scam and are taking our advice.

“We urge anyone hearing about this scam to pass the message on to any friends and relatives who may not be aware of this particular type of targeted fraud, to prevent any vulnerable friends or family members from becoming victims. Legitimate organisations, like the bank or police, would never ask for bank or card details over the phone and we urge people to stay vigilant and to never pass on these details.

“Anyone receiving such calls should wait at least 10 minutes for their line to clear and if the opportunity arises dial 1471 to obtain the caller’s number. Once certain that the line is clear use your phone, mobile or alternative line, and phone Sussex Police on 101 to report your suspicions. You can also email and quote Operation Edisto.”

Meanwhile, the Lewes District Neighbourhood Policing team has also issued a fraud alert regarding phone calls from somebody claiming to be a police officer.

Police would NEVER contact you by phone and ask for details of your bank account, never ask you to send them bank cards or type your PIN number into a telephone keypad, and never ask you to pay cash into an account “for safe keeping”.